Farmville Town Council signs off on new budget

Published 9:09 pm Thursday, May 25, 2023

The nation is at a 30-year high of inflation and a recession is possibly on horizon by the end of the calendar year. As a result, Farmville town employees need some extra help to cover costs. That’s how Town Administrator Dr. Scott Davis explained the pay raises included in the final version of this year’s budget, which the Farmville Town Council unanimously adopted during their special called meeting on Monday, May 22. 

One question that’s come up a bit has been why the raise is just a straight dollar figure for town employees and not a percentage. The budget would provide a raise to all full-time town employees of $5,000, while part-time employees would receive a $2/hour salary increase. The only part-time employees for the town are those who drive for the Farmville bus service. 

During the earlier public hearing on the budget, Davis had explained that a straight dollar figure in this case benefits everyone. 

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“A percentage increase gives more money to those at higher salaries than those at lower wages,” Davis said. “We are trying to make our pay grades more competitive in certain areas and to adjust the salaries of our lower grade employees.” 

To explain, if someone was making $13 an hour and some change, and then the council gave a five percent raise, they would only get 68 cents per hour extra. Whereas with a $5,000 raise, those same people are getting a little over $2 an hour more. 

“We want to treat our employees equitably,” Davis added in that earlier public hearing. “This year we’re doing it across the board as a monetary raise as a set amount so we can elevate some (people), but everyone is getting the same amount in their pocket.” 

Farmville Town Council signs off

The planned Farmville budget comes in at $25.278 million, including $14.39 million in the General Fund, $1.886 in the Street Maintenance Fund, $3.827 million in the Water Fund, $2.727 in the Sewer Fund, $1.164 million in the Transportation Fund and $1.281 million in the Airport Fund. 

The budget also reduces the amount the town contributes to the Prince Edward Rescue Squad’s executive director salary. The budget includes $15,000, rather than the $30,000 requested. In doing so, the town council is following the original agreement. 

Over the last three years, the town gave $30,000 annually to help cover the salary of an executive director, in addition to other funding and support for maintenance and fuel costs. But that salary agreement wasn’t permanent. The idea was for Farmville, along with Longwood University and Hampden-Sydney College, to help get things started and then slowly reduce the amount provided for the director after that three year period. We’re now at the end of that period.